Domestic Reverse Charge for VAT within the Construction Industry Scheme

IMPORTANT UPDATE!

On 06/09/2019 HMRC announced that the Domestic Reverse Charge will be postponed for 12 months and will come into effect 01/10/2020.   Their official statment;

“To help these businesses and give them more time to prepare, the introduction of the reverse charge has been delayed for a period of 12 months until 1 October 2020. This will also avoid the changes coinciding with Brexit.”

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From 1st October 2019 HMRC will introduce the Domestic Reverse Charge for VAT returns within the construction industry if certain criteria are met.

HMRC states it is aware of the large scale fraud that has occured within the industry, whereby construction businesses charge VAT for their services but then disaappear without paying their VAT bill, taking with them the 5% or 20% as additional profit.  They have also managed to under cut their prices against  many businesess working legitametly with the knwoledge that they will have this additional ‘profit’.  Therefore,  by moving the VAT charge down the supply chain, HMRC intends to make this kind of fraud impossible.

Any company that is VAT registered and works under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) providing the follwoing services may be subject to the Domestic Reverse Charge;

  • constructing, altering, repairing, extending, demolishing or dismantling buildings or structures (whether permanent or not), including offshore installation services
  • constructing, altering, repairing, extending, demolishing of any works forming, or planned to form, part of the land, including (in particular) walls, roadworks, power lines, electronic communications equipment, aircraft runways, railways, inland waterways, docks and harbours
  • pipelines, reservoirs, water mains, wells, sewers, industrial plant and installations for purposes of land drainage, coast protection or defence
  • installing heating, lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection systems in any building or structure
  • internal cleaning of buildings and structures, so far as carried out in the course of their construction, alteration, repair, extension or restoration
  • painting or decorating the inside or the external surfaces of any building or structure
  • services which form an integral part of, or are part of the preparation or completion of the services described above – including site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling and boring, laying of foundations, erection of scaffolding, site restoration, landscaping and the provision of roadways and other access works

Services excluded from the Domestic Reverse Charge include;

  • drilling for, or extracting, oil or natural gas
  • extracting minerals (using underground or surface working) and tunnelling, boring, or construction of underground works, for this purpose
  • manufacturing building or engineering components or equipment, materials, plant or machinery, or delivering any of these to site
  • manufacturing components for heating, lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, power supply, drainage, sanitation, water supply or fire protection systems, or delivering any of these to site
  • the professional work of architects or surveyors, or of building, engineering, interior or exterior decoration and landscape consultants
  • making, installing and repairing art works such as sculptures, murals and other items that are purely artistic
  • signwriting and erecting, installing and repairing signboards and advertisements
  • installing seating, blinds and shutters
  • installing security systems, including burglar alarms, closed circuit television and public address systems

The final criteria is whether the service being provided is to the the ‘end-user’ or ‘intermediary supplier’.  If it is then the normal way of charging VAT applies, if not, then the Domestic Reverse Charge applies.  Please see the flowchart below to see if the Domestic Reverse Charge applies to you:

What is an ‘End User’?

For reverse charge purposes consumers and final customers are called end users. They are businesses, or groups of businesses, that do not make onward supplies of the building and construction services in question, but they are registered for CIS as mainstream or deemed contractors because they carry out construction operations, or because the value of their purchases of building and construction services exceeds the threshold for CIS.

What is an ‘Intermediary Supplier’?

Intermediary suppliers are VAT and CIS registered businesses that are connected or linked to end users.

To be connected or linked to an end user, intermediary suppliers must either:

  • share a relevant interest in the same land where the construction works are taking place
  • be part of the same corporate group or undertaking as defined in section 1161 of the Companies Act 2006

It will be your responsibility to ask your contactor whether they are the end user or intermediary.

If they are not, then you will not receive the VAT for the supplies being provided.  This will effect your cash flow.  Furthermore, if you are on a flat rate scheme, then the scheme will more than likely no longer be beneficial for you.  If your sales are subject to the domestic reverse charge, then you would be considered as a regular repayment trader and could enrol on a monthly VAT return scheme to ease your cash flow by getting the VAT paid back to you on your expenses.

As the supplier, you will need to issue VAT invoices that clearly indicate the supplies are subject to the domestic reverse charge and that the customer is required to account for the VAT. The VAT due should be clearly stated however should not be included in the amount shown as total amount charged.

If the domestic reverse charge applies, invoices should clearly indicate the reverse charge applies using the correct terminology. HMRC suggests businesses use any of the following:

  • Reverse charge: VAT Act 1994 Section 55A applies
  • Reverse charge: S55A VATA 94 applies
  • Reverse charge: Customer to pay the VAT to HMRC

It should be clear on the invoice that the reverse charge mechanism has been applied.

You invoice should still show all the usual information required for a VAT invoice.

The legislation stipulates that if there is a reverse charge element in a supply then the whole supply will be subject to reverse charge if the parties agree. It will also cover the provision of construction services that includes materials.

There is no minimum threshold from which the reverse charge would apply.

Please contact us on 020 8761 8000 or email ali.asilzadeh@taxfile.co.uk if you would like to discuss how the domestic reverse charge will effect your business.

CIS tax refunds and returns - help now available across the UK

Help with CIS Tax Returns & Refunds Across the UK

CIS tax refunds and returns - help now available across the UK

As well as having 2 London based teams dealing with CIS returns and refunds, we’ve now introduced the same service for clients who are further afield in the UK. If you are a CIS contractor or sub-contractor we now have tax help available in the South West, the North East, the North West and, of course, our existing services in London and the South East of England.

More specifically, we can help you if you are:

  • in Cornwall/Devon (within a 30 mile radius of the Plymouth PL12 post code),
  • in Yorkshire in the North East (within a 50 mile radius of S72 post code area),
  • in the Carlisle region in the North of England,
  • in or around Exeter, Topsham, & Plymouth in Devon,
  • Of course, that’s on top of the existing bases in Tulse Hill and Dulwich in South London,
  • And our brand new tax & CIS refunds office in Battersea, London SW8.

So if you’re near any of these areas and need professional help with any aspect of accounting and tax, particularly for construction industry CIS tax returns and refunds, do get in touch.

In the first instance, call us on 0208 761 8000 to arrange an appointment with your nearest Taxfile representative, book an appointment online or use the contact form below to send us a message about your particular tax situation or accountancy needs. We’ll make paperwork and claiming any tax refund easy! Read more

CIS - tax refunds for construction workers

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS): How to Claim a Tax Refund

CIS - tax refunds for construction workersIt’s now time to start the process of claiming your tax refund if you are a subcontractor working within the construction industry and have been paying tax, in advance, through the Construction Industry Scheme (‘CIS’). In this article we will tell you how you qualify and how to claim your tax refund. First, though, a little bit of background to the scheme:

The CIS Scheme

The Construction Industry Scheme, or CIS, is a scheme whereby a contractor in the construction industry usually deducts a proportion of the money due to their subcontractor, at source. The deducted amount is then passed direct to HMRC and counts towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance, the tax element effectively being paid in advance. The exact proportion deducted depends on whether the subcontractor concerned has registered under the CIS system. If the subcontractor has not registered, the deduction will usually be made at a rate of 30%. If they have already registered, then the deduction will usually be made at a rate of 20%. Either way, by the financial year end, the amount of tax deducted at source will usually end up being more than they really needed to have paid, simply because it won’t have factored in the personal allowance which every UK taxpayer is entitled to (most UK citizens can earn up to £10,000 before paying tax at time of writing, this figure being set to rise to £10,600 in the tax year 2015-16, 10,800 a year later then increasing to £11,000 by 2017-18 following the recent budget proposals). Hence, many subcontractors in the construction industry will be due a tax refund because of the overpayment. The good news is that the time to apply for the refund is pretty much now, so get in touch if you’d like our help claiming.

What kind of work does CIS cover?

You qualify to be in the CIS system if you are a subcontractor who supplies construction work to buildings. This includes labouring, decorating, site preparation and refurbishment but excludes things like architecture, surveying services, the hire of scaffolding without labour, the fitting of carpets, the delivery of materials, and finally non-construction type services such as site facilities (canteens etc.).

What if your business is not in the UK?

Even if your business is abroad, the same rules apply if you work as a subcontractor within the UK. However there are some slightly different rules regarding the treatment of taxation for non-resident workers from countries which have ‘Double Taxation’ treaties with the UK (we can, of course, also help with that — just get in contact).

Registering for CIS

If you haven’t already registered for CIS as a sub-contractor, Taxfile can help to do this for you. You’ll need to be registered for Self Assessment (we can also help with this) and this will give you your UTR (unique taxpayer reference) number. We’ll also need your name, National Insurance number, your legal business/trading name and contact details. Once registered with CIS one of the immediate benefits will be that you’ll then have tax deductions made at the 20% rate rather than at 30%, which would otherwise be the case. If your business is a legal partnership you will also need to register it for CIS but this would need to be done in addition to being registered as an individual or sole trader. Of course, Taxfile can help with that too. Once you have been registered with CIS and have passed certain eligibility criteria, it is also possible to apply for ‘gross payment status’ meaning that you’ll then be paid by the contractor without the usual ‘at source’ deductions. Instead you’ll need to pay any outstanding tax and National Insurance at the financial year end; however HMRC will review your business each year to check that you still qualify for this status (paying tax late and/or submitting returns late would put your gross payment status at risk).

Offsetting Expenses against your tax

Taxfile can also help you to offset certain expenses against your subcontractor income. This means that any tax refund will be larger — or any tax outstanding will be lower. We can offset Read more

CIS Contractor Monthly Return

CIS contractors must complete and file a tax return to the HM Revenue and Customs every month showing the payments made to all subcontractors as well as the tax deducted. The contractor needs also to show the verifications references against all those subcontractors from whom the contractor had to deduct a higher tax rate.
Even if no payments were made to subcontractors, contractors still need to submit a monthly return , in this case a nil return.
Starting from 19th October, HMRC will start charging building contractors penalties for late returns. The contractor monthly returns should be submitted to the Inland Revenue by the 19th of every month. After this date, any return not received from contractors by the due date will be liable to a fixed penalty of £100 and a further penalty for every additional month that the return remains outstanding.
There are three ways to submit the return:
•on paper through the post
•online through the HMRC website
•electronically through Electronic Data Interchange or through approved third-party software.

Yesterday, the 26th October, HMRC showed some sympathy towards contractors’ late returns due to the postal strikes. Those who file electronically have no problem submitting their returns. ”Nil returns can continue to be made by telephone and HMRC are also prepared exceptionally, during continuing disruption, to accept paper returns at their Enquiry Centres.
There are likely, however, to be some contractors whose returns, will not be received by the 19th October, even though posted in what would normally be good time to meet the deadline. HMRC are prepared to consider these cases sympathetically.
Contractors can make nil returns and get further assistance by telephoning the CIS Helpline on 0845 366 7899.”(HMRC)

Taxfile in South London can help you filing your monthly return making sure it is done in due time. Their tax accountants will also be able to verify your subcontractors with HMRC in order for you, the contractor to deduct the right amount of tax.